Gambling is the wagering of something of value on a random event with the intent of winning something else of value, where instances of strategy are discounted. Gambling is often considered to be an addictive activity. It can cause a wide variety of problems including damage to relationships, work performance and finances. It may also cause serious mental health issues.
People gamble for many reasons, including the desire to win money, socialise or escape from stress and worries. However, for some it becomes a problem and can lead to gambling addiction, which is difficult to treat. It can harm a person’s physical and mental health, affect their relationships and work or study performance, result in significant debt and even lead to homelessness. It is estimated that gambling related problems cause more than 400 suicides each year.
If you or a loved one are struggling with gambling, there is help available. You can seek treatment, join a support group or try self-help tips. The first step is admitting you have a problem. It can be difficult to recognise this, especially if you have lost money or strained or broken relationships as a result of your gambling habits. It can help to find a therapist who understands the impact of gambling on your life and can offer you strategies to overcome it. BetterHelp is an online therapy service that can match you with a licensed, accredited therapist who has experience helping people overcome gambling disorders and other challenges in their lives.